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The Journey Continues

Hello again

 Since my last post we have made our way down the coast of Spain and Portugal and after a quick stop in Gibraltar are now transiting through the Mediterranean. The sea state is now much more settled and so I have started to fall into a regular working pattern. We normally get up around 0700 and I have my first clinic at 0800 for anyone who is not feeling well. This tends to be mostly simple coughs, colds and sports injuries such as ankle sprains. It is very unlike working in the accident and emergency department that I am used to, as you do not have x-ray or blood tests immediately available.

If someone is very unwell while we are at sea and needs to be taken off the ship for further care I have to discuss it with the Captain and we then plan the best way to do it. This can be by our sea boats which can be lowered into the water or using the Merlin helicopter that we have onboard. No matter where the ship is in the world if someone needs to go back to the UK for treatment the RAF have a team who will come out and meet the ship to escort the patient back.

As part of my job I can be called upon by the Captain to go to other ships and boats that require medical assistance. One of the ways that I would get there would be to be winched down from the helicopter. This is something we practice regularly and something that I really enjoy even thought those who go down on the winch get to be known as ‘dope on a rope’ by the pilots, something about pilots being superior!  The flight deck is also used for sport when the helicopter is in the hanger. This enables all those not on watch to get some competition going between the messes and helps to develop team spirit within the ships company. We also have a physical training instructor onboard who organises circuit training in the evening on the flight deck and also football, rugby and netball matches when we are in a port.

 

Spot the ball

In the medical department we need to be available to do a clinic at the watch change over and so work long days with an early morning, lunchtime and late evening clinc. We are on-call 24 hours a day for emergencies and so can be woken up in the middle of the night as well.

I am off to spend some time on the cross trainer that we have onboard to keep my fitness up. I am getting married just after we get home and so am doing the normal bride thing of trying to lose weight before the big day.

 

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Photo of Lisa Martin Lisa Martin

(Currently: back at sea)

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  1. nicki25 said:

    it sounds like you fully enjoy what you do well done i want to know if there is chance for family life like men who have women and children at home or maybe you could point me in the direction of info or a person who is going through this at the moment thanks and keep up the great work xx

  2. SO2 INTERNET said:

    Hi Nicki
    I’m sure Lisa will come back to you about your question, but in the mean time you might want to take a look at the Live Chats as this sort of question comes up quite regularly. There’s a Live Chat on 22 Apr if you want to join in - see the Home Page for the advert. Or you can look at previous transcripts via the careers pages. I’m a serving RN Officer who had been married now for 11 years, I’ve got 2 kids and 3 dogs. You have to balance your work/life balance carefully - as with any job, but it can be done ! If you can get down to ‘Meet Your Navy’ in Sept 09 (See News and Events) there will be lots of matelots to answer your questions.

  3. Lisa Martin said:

    Hi Nicki
    Sorry its taken me a little while to get back to you. Life in the RN is always difficult for everyone leaving loved ones at home for long deployments. We have both men and women onboard who have left young children at home with their partners. There have been advances in communications over recent years so that it is much easier to email and call home regularly, along with the regular mail drops to recieve presents from home. It depends on which job you are interested in as some branches spend more time at sea than others. My fiance is in the RAF and so it makes life even more difficult but we try to make the best of the time we do get to spend together and make it work for us.